Lately, a lot of people have been experiencing stress throughout the pandemic, whether it’s about big deals such as their life problems or the little things that come up every once in a while. Although, it’s normal to feel stressed over something, it’s unhealthy to let stress control you and your life decisions. Sometimes, some of these people who feel stressed tend to start eating more to deal with their stress.
We don’t always eat just because we are hungry. Many people turn to food to relieve their stress, but the bad thing is that they tend to eat junk food, sweets, and other unhealthy foods. You might even catch yourself eating comfort foods, such as ice cream, chips, or fast food simply just because you’re feeling a bit down or the stress of the day is affecting you emotionally.
Stress eating usually makes people feel better, and to fill their emotional needs rather than satisfy their hunger. Although, it doesn’t really fix your problems. Right? In fact, it actually makes you feel worse. After binging on junk food and whatnot, people have admitted to feeling guilty for overeating. When people’s primary coping mechanism is eating, usually their first impulse is to open the refrigerator whenever they’re feeling either stressed, upset, angry, lonely, exhausted, or simply just bored. This could cause them to get stuck in a very unhealthy cycle or loop, which means that their feelings stay bottled up and their problems never really get addressed.
As I’ve mentioned before, eating a lot of comfort food may feel good in the moment, but the feelings that triggered the eating are still going to be there right after. This often makes people feel even worse than they did before because of the unnecessary calories and sugars that they’ve just consumed, and when they feel worse, they tend to eat again because they beat themselves for messing up once again. It’s a never ending cycle that doesn’t really help anybody.
To anybody who has this problem, you can try to figure out another way to cope with your stress in a healthy way. Consider maybe looking for a new, fun hobby like drawing or painting. Exercise is another way to deal with stress, and as simple as a walk in the park, at the beach, or around your neighborhood. Stay safe and stay positive!
If you find yourself stress eating to deal with issues, you can find resources and help from the Hoover Student Wellness Center.